Art Deco or art deco - An art movement involving a mix of modern decorative art styles, largely of the 1920s and 1930s, whose main characteristics were derived from various avant-garde painting styles of the early twentieth century. Art deco works exhibit aspects of Cubism, Russian Constructivism and Italian Futurism — with abstraction, distortion, and simplification, particularly geometric shapes and highly intense colors — celebrating the rise of commerce, technology, and speed.

The growing impact of the machine can be seen in repeating and overlapping images from 1925; and in the 1930s, in streamlined forms derived from the principles of aerodynamics.

The name came from the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs Industriels et Modernes, held in Paris, which celebrated living in the modern world.

It was popularly considered to be an elegant style of cool sophistication in architecture and applied arts which range from luxurious objects made from exotic material to mass produced, streamlined items available to a growing middle class.




see thumbnail to leftDesigned by Poiret (French), manufactured by La Maison Martine, French, Textile Sample, c. 1923, silk, 90 x 34 inches (228.6 x 86.4 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See textile.



see thumbnail to rightSeraphin Soudbinine (French, 1870-1944), designer, Jean Dunand (French, 1877-1942), designer, "Fortissimo" Screen, 1925-26, lacquered wood; each panel: 98 x 35 inches (246.9 x 89.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See screen.



Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann (French, 1879-1933)




see thumbnail to rightRaymond Hood, architect (American, 1881-1934), Daily News Building, 1930, New York.




see thumbnail to leftWilliam Van Alen (American, 1882-1954), Chrysler Building, 1930, New York City. An archetypal American Art Deco skyscraper, the exterior of the building reflects the Chrysler automobile. The building was faced with Nirosta stainless steel, because  of its low-maintenance, and the beauty of its color.

Part of the surface decorations include sculptural ornaments comparable to see thumbnail to rightgargoyles and hood ornaments. The radiating curves on the building's dome mimic giant sunbeams, a popular Art Deco theme.

In the lobby of the Chrysler Building are more Art Deco designs. see thumbnail to leftThe outer doors for each elevator are decorated with stylized papyrus motif decor of exotic "Metyl-Wood" veneers produced by the Tyler Company, 1928-1930.



John Storrs (American, 1885-1956).






see thumbnail to leftPaul Manship (American, 1886-1966), Dancer and Gazelles, 1916, bronze, .826 x .883 x .285 m (32 1/2 x 34 3/4 x 11 1/4 inches), National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.




see thumbnail to rightPaul Manship, Atalanta, 1921, bronze, height 28 3/4 inches (73.1 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.



see thumbnail to leftPaul Manship, Actaeon (#1), 1925, bronze, National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.




see thumbnail to rightPaul Manship, Indian Hunter with his Dog, 1926, bronze on marble base, height 23 3/4 inches, Dayton Art Institute, OH.



see thumbnail to leftPaul Manship, Prometheus, 1934, gilt bronze, height 18 feet, weight 8 tons, plaza of Rockefeller Center, NY. Its companion piece is Atlas. See Prometheus.



Kem Weber (German-American designer, 1889-1963), "Zephyr" Digital Clock Model No. 304-P40, 1934, lacquered copper, chrome-plated brass, and plastic, 3 3/4 x 3 3/4 x 3 3/4 inches (9.5 x 9.5 x 9.5 cm), manufactured by Lawson Time Inc., Los Angeles. This streamlined object is both elegant and utilitarian. Kem Weber said his approach to design was "to make the practical more beautiful and the beautiful more practical."



C. Paul Jennewein (German-American, 1890-1978), Greek Dance, 1984, (surmoulage from the original bronze created in 1926), gilt bronze, height 17 inches, Tampa Museum of Art, FL. See dance.




see thumbnail to rightLouis Lozowick (1892-1973), New York City (Brooklyn Bridge), 1923, lithograph.



see thumbnail to leftGrant Wood (American, 1892-1942), American Gothic, 1930, oil on beaver board, 74.3 x 62.4 cm, Art Institute of Chicago. See American Scene painting and American Gothic.



see thumbnail to rightGrant Wood, The Ride of Paul Revere, 1931, oil on Masonite, 30 x 40 inches (76.2 x 101.6 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See history painting.



Grant Wood, Daughters of Revolution, 1932, Cincinnati Art Museum. Daughters of Revolution is a satirical image of three smug ladies who revel in what they think is their true "Americanness." Wood has painted them drinking from Chinese teacups, wearing lace made in Italy, in front of the painting Washington Crossing the Delaware by the German-American artist Emanual Leutze. See history painting.


see thumbnail to leftTamara de Lempicka (born in Poland, from the age of 20, active in Paris and America, 1898-1980), Self-Portrait in the Green Bugatti, 1925, oil on wood panel, private collection. See Polish art.



see thumbnail to rightTamara de Lempicka, Spring, 1928, oil on wood panel, private collection.



see thumbnail to leftTamara de Lempicka, Adam and Eve, c. 1932, oil, Petit Palais, Geneva, Switzerland. See Tamara de Lempicka's studio, c. 1931.


see thumbnail to rightTamara de Lempicka, Sleeping Woman, 1935, oil on canvas, private collection.



see thumbnail to leftTamara de Lempicka, Calla Lilies, 1941, oil, private collection, CA. See curvilinear.



Wallace Harrison (American), 1939 World's Fair: perisphere and trilon, 1939.



Henry Hohauser (American architect) Collins Park Hotel, 1939, one of the many Art Deco buildings in Miami Beach, FL. The building's circular entry is dramatized by strikingly vertical columns, vivid colors, and patterns employing a chevron motif.


Related Links:


  • Yahoo's links to Art Deco sites.

  • Decopix has dozens of spectacular photographs of the world's major Art Deco buildings, along with a discussion of the style and examples of art and design of the period.

  • Art Deco - Erte is an on-line exhibition of works by the Russian-born artist and designer Romain de Tirtoff (Erte) in all media: sculpture, paintings, graphics, fashion, stage and costume design.

  • The Art Deco Society of New York is a non-profit organization for the study, preservation and celebration of all forms of Art Deco. Membership, events, newsletter, links.

  • Fair Park Mural Conservation Project aims to conserve the murals of Carlo Ciampaglia at Fair Park, Dallas, a product of the 1936 Texas Centennial Celebration. Illustrated history of Fair Park, project overview and progress.

  • Art Deco. Lee Tanner provides pictures and raytraced images of Art Deco objects.

  • Art Deco Society Inc. is a non-profit organisation promoting the preservation Art Deco in Victoria and Tasmania. News, events, publications, membership.

  • Deco Nut displays photographs of Art Deco architecture, especially in Omaha, art and design. Feature on unusual period radios. Personal pages.

  • gallery of paintings by Tamara de Lempicka.



Also see Arts and Crafts Movement.





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